Rabbits have different behaviors from one another. It is part of the owner’s responsibility to compromise with their pet so that they can get comfortable around you. According to the House Rabbit Society, it is natural for some rabbits to get shy. That is why they also get easily scared when something is new to them.
You can notice that your pet is scared through their body behavior. They sometimes shiver, tucking their legs underneath their body, and look away. It is easier to understand your pet if you observe them closely.
Occasionally when rabbits get scared, they can also get aggressive. Although you might want to deal with your sacred pet immediately, it should not always be the case. Sometimes leaving them alone is better so they will relax, which is the best time to approach them.
Signs That Your Rabbit is Scared
Caring for rabbits is a fun experience that every owner will surely enjoy. Although they cannot communicate directly, the Small Pet Select claims that they can also be talkative to their trusted humans.
Rabbits’ primary way of communicating is through their body language. These signs are complex, so you must be cautious and recognize your pet’s natural response. In this way, it will be easier for you to understand their situation, whether they are scared, happy, or aggressive. Watch out for these signs of scared rabbits;
1. The Rabbits’ Ear is Held Back
One of the things that you should observe in rabbits is the movements of their ears. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) stated that scared rabbits often held back their ears. This indicates that something in their environment makes them distressed.
2. The Rabbits Body is Shaking
Your pet’s body will start shaking if they get too scared. Rabbits are prey animals, so they do not like being vulnerable. They get easily anxious about something new in their surroundings. It’s best to train your rabbits to let them understand socialization. If your pet is shaking its body for hours, bring them to the veterinarian for checking. There might be a more serious problem than just your rabbit getting scared.
3. The Rabbit Will Avert Their Eyes
A rabbit’s eyes can give a different meaning. If they are happy, they will open their eyes widely and make a sound to show their affection. However, they will avert their eyes from you when they get scared.
Eye contact is important in animals. Simple eye contact can start a conflict in wildlife, especially with territorial animals. So if you notice that your pet is averting its eyes from you, something is wrong with them.
Other signs you should observe in scared rabbits:
- Lurking in their colony and protesting to break free.
- An abrupt shift of action. Your pet turns hostile or wants to disappear or run away.
- Biting the rails of their shelter/cage
- Over-brushing or replacing its dressing-up manners
- Over-drinking and over-eating
- Thumping their rear limbs
Reasons Why Rabbits Get Scared
1. Loud Sounds
Rabbits’ ears are sensitive. That is why they get easily scared when they hear a loud sound. Some household items like vacuums that release noises can scare your pet.
Once you own a rabbit, part of caring for them is socializing with things around your house. If your house is always full of people, familiarize them with that environment. You can also avoid them getting scared if you place their cages in a more relaxing and quiet area.
When rabbits sense danger or threat near them, they get easily scared. They know they are prone to attacks, especially from predators, since they are classified as prey animals in the food chain. However, the predator is not the only threat to your rabbits. Some things can also scare them, like a new environment or people.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that fear and distress could be associated. If your pet’s stress level increases, they also feel scared.
You must ensure your pet lives a happy life to emotionally support them. Stress levels can also contribute to your rabbit’s health. Once they start to feel lonely, they can also lose their appetite resulting in malnutrition.
4. New Environment
Rabbits are creatures of comfort, which means that a change in their environment can make them feel scared and uneasy. Whether you are taking your rabbit to a new house or on a road trip in your car, it is important to familiarize them with their surroundings first. Although it may take time for your pet to adjust, the process of introducing them to new experiences is crucial for their socialization and well-being.
Taking Care of Scared Rabbits
1. Comfort The Rabbit
If you suspect that your rabbit is scared, it is important to comfort them and be present for them, as they trust you more than anyone else. Rabbits are sociable animals and enjoy being close to their owners.
However, it is important to observe your pet’s behavior first to determine if they want to be near someone. In some cases, scared rabbits may try to retreat to a quiet, enclosed space and want to be left alone. Nonetheless, it is crucial to provide them with comfort and support, even if it means giving them space to calm down.
Observe in the distance and check them from time to time. If these symptoms persist for several days and do not improve, it is important to seek the advice of a veterinarian immediately.
2. Offer Favorited Treats/Foods
If your rabbit appears scared, try to offer them their favorite treats/foods. Rabbits love eating, so foddering them with their favorite nourishment can ease their fear. You can place the pieces of food near them so they can smell it.
Check if your pet will divert their attention to the treats. If so, encourage them to stand up and play with them using the treats.
3. Check the Surroundings
If the reason your rabbit gets scared is predators, check the surroundings first. Once you see an animal, shoo it away to ease tension in the rabbit. Secure the area, and then calm your pet. After that, encourage them to play with you to lose the imprint of fear in their mind.
4. Visit the Veterinarian
You must also schedule a visit with your rabbit’s doctor. Being scared should not be overlooked, especially if your rabbit frequently exhibits this behavior. It can be a sign of an underlying sickness in your rabbit. To know this, expert diagnoses need to be conducted. It is not ideal to always assume things about your pet, most importantly regarding their health.
If you want to know more about taking care of rabbits, click and read this article: The Ultimate Guide to Taking Care of Rabbits
- Rabbits are naturally shy. But also note that each rabbit has different characteristics. You need to understand their feelings and moods to care for them effectively.
- Rabbits can communicate through their behaviors. If they are scared, they tend to shiver and want to be alone. And if they are happy, they become active.
- A scared rabbit can trigger aggressiveness in your pet, so it’s essential to deal with them before it escalates into that behavior.
- Here are some signs that you rabbits are scared; ears held back, body shaking, averting eyes, wanting to be alone, biting their cage railing, and thumping rear limbs.
- Your rabbit can get scared because of several reasons some of them are loud sounds, danger, feeling distressed, and a new environment.
- To deal with scared rabbits, try to comfort them, or you can also offer them their favorite treat to avert their attention from the feelings. Check the surroundings for possible threats and visit their veterinarian to avoid further complications.